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Duncanian Studies

Use vs. Misuse
Policy Options
Harm Reduction
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The Centre for Duncanian Studies

Dr. David F. Duncan has been a pioneer in the conceptual crossfertilisation of behavioural psychology, social epidemiology, and lifespan development. The originality and power of his contributions has been such that he has been called "the Stephen Hawking of public health."
Participants in our Centre's activities are particularly interested in Prof. Duncan's self-medication hypothesis, which proposes that psychological dependence is just another name for negative reinforcement when it results from the addict's use of drugs to medicate preexisting distress, We also are interested in his nonjudgmental approach to the prevention and treatment of drug dependence, which has come to be known as harm reduction or harm minimisation.

Mission Statement

The Centre for Duncanian Studies brings together a group of researchers with a common interest in applying a Duncanian approach to the study and control of public health problems of drug dependence, violence, and mental illness. 

Brain Imaging Studies of Magic Mushrooms

Criminalizing Teen Drinkers

Super Cannabis Myth Debunked

Sixth Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction

Nicholson Lectures on Drug Policy at Oxford


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Dr. Duncan is President of Duncan & Associates, a behavioural and policy studies consultancy firm. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University and was formerly a Professor of Health Education at the Southern Illinois University. He was a consultant to the Clinton White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He chairs the Council on Illicit Drugs and is Program Chair of the National Association for Public Health Policy in the United States.

Prof. David F. Duncan
(photo from his website)

An interview with Professor Duncan

The Centre for Duncanian Studies is not sponsored by or affiliated with
Prof. Duncan, nor is it sponsored by the University of London,
the Medical Research Council, or the National Health Service.